A common VFS and a Common conf-system (Was: namespacing)

Jamie McCracken jamiemcc at blueyonder.co.uk
Tue Mar 1 19:29:52 EET 2005

Avery Pennarun wrote:
> On Tue, Mar 01, 2005 at 11:43:58AM -0500, Sean Middleditch wrote:
>>>>Unfortunately, it's Linux only, and has an incredibly brain-dead design
>>>>where you have to utilize "round-trips" through the kernel for
>>>>something that essentially happens entirely in user-space,
>>>This is not entirely true: thanks to some contributions by my company,
>>>FUSE has extensions that allow the kernel to *cache* your stuff in the
>>>normal page cache, so after the first access, files can be retrieved as
>>>quickly as from a normal filesystem, even across processes, and with a
>>>high level of reliability.  That's a very big advantage that you will
>>>simply never achieve in a 100% userspace solution.
>>Why can't it be done in userspace?
> For the same reasons that microkernels are slow.  I don't think I want to be
> part of *that* famous argument, so I'll leave it at that :)
> If all you're doing is opening a word document, I suppose nobody cares how
> slow it is (which is why kioslave and gnome-vfs, both awfully slow systems
> compared to the kernel, are accepted and useful).  But please don't ask me
> to compile my openoffice source tree on such a filesystem.
True but what beats me if why the common VFS needs to be out of process? 
(that in itself will kill any hope of it being super fast like FUSE and 
while I understand Sean's security concerns I dont see it as making much 
difference - any malicious app can pop up a dialog (or spoof the keyring 
one) to ask for a password  and fool a user into giving it)


> Have fun,
> Avery
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